Although it was only released in May 2016, Overwatch has quickly become one of the most popular eSports games to both play and bet on. Understanding how the game works will help bettors find an edge over the bookmaker when it comes to Overwatch betting. Read on to learn how to bet on Overwatch.
Overwatch betting: How does the game work?
Overwatch is a 6 vs. 6 First Person Shooter (FPS) team game. There are three different game types: Point capture, payload and control. In each of the different game types, killing the opposing team will make it easier to complete objectives.
Two teams face off against each other in a game of Overwatch, with each player picking a hero from the 24 available; all of which have different weapons, attributes and special attacks.
There are four main types of heroes to choose from: Attack, Defence, Tank and Support - a similar set-up to League of Legends (LoL), which is one of many reasons why Overwatch is so popular.
You can build your team composition any way you like, which creates a vast number of different strategies and approaches one can use. Teams usually have a variety of hero types to create the best balance - things like the map or opposing team will also affect team composition.
The game will display on the character select screen which sort of heroes have not been picked yet to further assist you in creating a well-balanced team.
How to bet on Overwatch: Different hero types
A tank hero does as you would expect in a game of Overwatch. They protect allies, disrupt the enemy and has high survivability. Their main abilities are endurance, protection (both itself and others) and using shields and crowd control - allowing those in offensive roles to cause damage to the opposing team.
Teams usually have a variety of hero types to create the best balance - things like the map or opposing team will also affect team composition.
Offence heroes are used to scour and harass the opposition and press the team’s objective. These heroes will have less survivability but good mobility and possess high damage weapons.
As the name suggests, defence heroes guard locations and establish a front. While they are still used to cause damage to the opponent, it is often at long range (using weapons such as snipers and frag launchers). These heroes are best utilised for area denial and preventing objectives being taken.
The role of support heroes is to heal other team members and provide utility. Instead of doing damage to the opposition, support heroes increase survivability, speed and the damage output of their team. Support heroes perform best when their team are around them and can be used to revive them once they are knocked down.
Brief history of Overwatch
Overwatch is the fourth major game to be released by Blizzard. Its development came about following the cancellation of their ambitious game Titan - some of the team that worked on Titan created the concept for Overwatch.
Overwatch is based on the success of games such as Team Fortress 2 (TF2), combined with elements of popular multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBA) like LoL and Dota 2.
- Learn more about Dota 2 betting
Some of the story concepts from the cancelled Titan game were used in the story of Overwatch. After establishing the narrative of an optimistic near-future Earth set after a global crisis, the developers aimed to create a list of heroes that spanned genders and ethnicities to give the game diversity.
The main aim before releasing the game was to find the perfect balance between new players being able to pick-up the game and have fun, but also have a skill ceiling which players who were dedicated could aim for.
Overwatch was officially unveiled at Blizzcon in 2014 and was available to play in a closed beta from late 2015 into early 2016. The open beta followed in May of 2016 with over 9.7 million people participating.
Critics praised the game universally upon its release. They were especially impressed by the diversity of the characters and the style of the artwork. It won numerous awards for Game of the Year following its release and as its popularity continues to grow, so too does the number of tournaments and available betting markets.
Who are the best teams?
The best team in the world currently are the Korean side Lunatic-Hai. Despite the controversy that has followed their team this year and a couple of shock defeats, Lunatic-Hai has always been renowned as the best Overwatch team in the world.
In addition to the morale boost provided by a home crowd, travelling long distances prior can have a negative impact on performance levels.
Snapping at the heels of the Koreans is the American teams EnVyUs and Rogue, as well as fellow Koreans GC Buscan and the Chinese outfit Miraculous Youngsters. Although both EnVyUs (89%) and GC Buscan (83%) have a better all-time win percentage compared to Lunatic-Hai (77%), it is the reigning OGN Super Match champions that have the best win percentage at major tournaments (86.54%).
Team EnVyUs haven’t been so active this season and seem to be rebuilding after an unbelievable 2016. Rogue, however, have won seven of the ten events they have attended in 2017 and look like they could be the main contender to Lunatic-Hai’s Overwatch throne.
How to bet on Overwatch: Available markets
Overwatch betting is similar to the other major games available at Pinnacle. You can bet on the result of a match (also known as the Money Line), the Handicap (in map victories) or the outright winner of specific tournaments - odds will often reflect the team’s recent results as well as any big roster changes that have occurred.
Just like CS:GO betting, you can bet on the winner of individual maps in Overwatch. There are a number of different maps in which the matches are played on (over 20 at present), all with varying properties and play styles that work on them.
Some maps are much easier to play as an attacking or defending team. With the three game modes on offer as well, knowing your team and the types of maps and game types they are best suited to is vital in Overwatch betting.
Overwatch betting strategy: What should you consider?
Like many eSports, Overwatch relies on teamwork and communication. Everyone might have specific roles but they all l need to be fulfilled in order for the team to succeed. This means researching a team’s composition, what languages they speak and how long they have been playing together could give you an edge.
Because most group stage matches are BO1 (best-of-one) and the way Overwatch is played, bettors can learn a lot from observing early matches in tournaments. Overwatch is played at a really high pace and this does leave things open for an underdog to surprise - especially in the BO1 format.
Teams may be able to make up for mistakes in other eSports games but in Overwatch, one small lapse in concentration early in a game can cause a snowball effect where you struggle to claw back the other team’s advantage.
As mentioned above, analysing which teams prefer which maps and which compositions they struggle against is critical - watching past matches is one way to access this kind of information (there are countless websites for to get this information from).
Where a tournament's held is also important in Overwatch betting. In addition to the morale boost provided by a home crowd, travelling long distances prior can have a negative impact on performance levels. If you’re betting on the outright winner of a tournament or individual matches, always research how the teams you’re betting on have prepared for the tournament.